Spinning Singles: Pusha T, “H.G.T.V.”

Rap’s John Grisham, El Presidenté, Blowbama — these are just a few of the titles that Virginia rapper Pusha T appoints to himself on his latest single, “H.G.T.V.” Those last two, in particular, feel like a coronation years in the making for the 39 year-old MC, who just last year became president of Kanye West’s label, G.O.O.D. Music. Braggadocio and cocaine puns have anchored Push’s brand of rags-to-riches lyricism since at least the early 2000s, when he first garnered widespread attention as one half of Clipse — the now defunct rap duo formed with his older brother. But unlike his contemporaries from that era, the rapper born Terrence Thornton has only gotten better with age, showing time and again his ability to work with this week’s in-demand producers while making music that is distinctly his own. “H.G.T.V.” continues that hot streak, condensing plenty of quotable Push-isms into a single verse over menacing, bass-heavy production. Last year’s Darkest Before Dawn featured some of the weirdest beats on a major label rap album in recent memory, with known quantities like Timbaland mining for left-field samples to operate in Push’s gleefully menacing orbit.

Spinning Singles: Pusha T, “Untouchable”


“The president of G.O.O.D Music has been announced / A quarter million a year, and that don’t bounce,” raps Pusha T on his latest single, “Untouchable.” The song is the first taste of the 38-year old’s long-awaited sophomore album, King Push, but the rapper born as Terrence Thornton understands what the big news is here: G.O.O.D Music has changed management. Pusha T himself has taken over the position of president from Kanye West, who founded the label in 2004 after the release of The College Dropout, and built it into the star-studded roster it is today. That Kanye would trust his brainchild to Pusha T is no surprise — the two have worked together closely for more than five years now, and West played a big part in helping the former Clipse member find success as a solo artist. However, the announcement symbolically reaffirms every Kanye fan’s most cynical suspicions: that Yeezus himself has turned his back on music in favor of fashion and family. “Untouchable,” then, inevitably feels like a consolation prize — the teddy bear a nice carny gives you if you cry enough.